Stanley Kubrick Presents the Complete Works of James Joyce

As I recently finished reading a survey of Joyce’s writings, it occurred to me that each of his four majors works could be compared to the four major acts of Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in order.

= Dubliners

A critical care for presenting a realistic story gives us the first stage of the work.  The inhabitants of this place are frustrated and stunted.  The Kubrickian monolith is equivalent to the Joycean epiphany.  Ironically, where the epiphanies of Joyce only instigate paralysis, the monoliths of 2001 catalyze a quantum leap in evolution.

= A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Here we see a truly new style (or, at least, a recent style perfected)–Joyce’s stream of consciousness and Kubrick’s special effects ballet.  Each work is a seamless, totally integrated work of ambitious art, where every facet contributes to the whole united  message.  Each work, thematically and in its plot, is about man moving onward and upward.

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O Brother Where Art Thou: The Music

Who couldn’t like a movie where Homer’s Odyssey is set in the depression-era American south?  But what popped into my head lately wasn’t the movie itself, but just the music.  It’s amazing: it brought regional bluegrass to the attention of the mainstream, and everybody was gobsmacked by what we’d been missing.  If you haven’t seen it (or heard it), here’s a few highlights:

Alison Krauss, singing a gospel standard here, also harmonizes as a siren on the track below.

 

Doesn’t everyone do their laundry that way?  I feel like there’s supposed to be a lesson here…

 

In the film, this gravel-soaked threat of a song is used at a Klan meeting!

 

And, of course, the Grammy-winning…